Genosky Collection

The Genosky Local History collection was created by Fr. Landry Genosky, O.F.M. (1914-1994) from his study of the history of the city of Quincy, Illinois highlighting the Civil War and the Steamboat Eras. The Genosky collection contains documents and photographs dated from 1830-1980 and measures about 75 linear feet.

Fr. Genosky was a professor of history at Quincy University (1960-1975) and a noted Civil War historian. He created this collection through his own research efforts and from donations from many local families. The collection consists of letters, legal documents, research reports, newspaper clippings and scrapbooks. There is also an extensive photograph collection, in several rare photographic formats, containing portraits and city views as local businesses, public buildings, schools, homes, etc. The Genosky Collection is partially organized and is available to researchers. The Collection has been organized into three major divisions: secondary source documents as booklets, clippings and research reports; primary source documents as letters, diaries and legal papers; and photographs. As of this time, a complete archival guide to the Genosky Collection is not available, so researchers should contact the archivist, Patricia Tomczak, for advise before visiting the collection.


National Catholic Band Association

The National Catholic Band Association (at founded in 1953 promotes the Catholic School Band. The founding and official documents, records, schedules and photographs from the association are housed in the archives of the Brenner Library.

The collection totals about 15 linear feet of documentation and were donated to the archives by Ms. Pam Potter of Quincy Notre Dame High School in Quincy, Illinois. The collection was added to the archives in May of 2004 and is available for viewing by appointment.


Hyatt Folklore Collection

The Hyatt Folklore Collection, created by Dr. Harry Hyatt (1890-1980), is unique among folklore collections in the United States because it largely consists of data related to the study of African-American folklore. It contains notes, letters, documents, scrapbooks, and photographs collected in travels and research conducted by Dr. Hyatt in North Africa, Europe and the United States between 1920-1970.

Of special interest are the audio tapes, numbering over 100 cassettes, which contain interviews with several tellers of folktales. Dr. Hyatt is also interviewed on a few of the tapes discussing his life’s work and so provides a valuable oral history and background to the document collection.

The total collection measures about 25 linear feet and although it is not fully available to researchers, parts of the collection may be viewed with prior permission from the archivist, Patricia Tomczak.


Rare Book Collection & Incunabula

The rare book collection occupies a special temperature controlled room in the library and numbers 4,000 volumes. Among these will be found 57 of the oldest and rarest books in print. These prized 57 are called “Incunabula” and are registered with the United States Library of Congress.

“Incunabula” is a Latin word meaning “in the cradle”, referring to the cradle days of printing – from the invention of movable type to the turn of the century, from 1450 to 1500.

Close to 50 years ago, the Franciscans began to assemble the old and rare books from their different houses in the United States. Four thousand were collected, all printed before 1850, and housed in St. Louis. When Brenner Library was complete, these books were moved to their new home on the Quincy University campus.


Tibesar Japanese Collection

The Tibesar Japanese Collection was created as a result of the missionary work of Fr. Leopold Tibesar a Maryknoll missionary to China and Japan between 1927-1959. Fr. Tibesar (1898-1968) was a member of a large, well-known Quincy family which included his brother, Fr. Seraphin Tibesar former president of Quincy University.

Fr. Tibesar was a missionary to China (1927-1932) and to Japan (1933-1940 and again in 1946-1959). During World War II, Fr. Tibesar returned to the United States and went with his Seattle parish of Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants into an interment camp in Minidoka, ID. After the war, he returned to Japan and served as head of several Catholic charities involved in the rebuilding of that country.

The Tibesar Japanese Collection consists of letters, documents, about 200 books (most in Japanese), photographs and artifacts including coins and art works. The collection measures about 30 linear feet and is not open to researchers at this time, however questions may be forwarded to the archivist, Patricia Tomczak.


QU Jubilee of 1912

Jubilee is a published keepsake that celebrates St. Francis Solanus College’s 52nd year since its foundation in 1860. This document records everything from the college’s humble beginnings to its then current accomplishments of 1912.

The college is named after St. Francis Solano (1549-1610) who spent 14 years performing missionary work in South America, especially in Peru.

St. Francis Solanus College was “an institution for the higher education of boys and young men under the direction of the Order of Friars Minor, or Franciscans, of the Sacred Heart Province. It is officially recognized by Bishops and Priests as the Diocesan College of the Catholic Diocese of Alton, Illinois. There is, however, nothing local or provinical in its character, and its student-body is recruited from all parts of the country, and even from abroad” (p. 5).


Fr. Augustine Tolton

Fr. Tolton was born as slave on a plantation in central Missouri. As as small child, he fled with his family to Quincy at the start of the Civil War. He was drawn to the priesthood from an early age but because of his race he was not accepted into any seminaries in the US. Instead, he received his training at the Vatican. He was ordained in 1886 and returned to Quincy to head a parish for African-American Catholics.

A few years later, he was transferred to Chicago to begin a parish there for African-Americans. During a heat wave in 1897, Fr. Tolton collapsed on the street and died. By his request, he was returned to Quincy for burial. Recently, the Archdiocese of Chicago has requested the Vatican to consider Fr. Augustus Tolton for sainthood.

The Brenner Library holds a variety of materials relating to Fr. Tolton including newspaper articles, copies of letters, photos and essays written on his life by area historians. Contact Patricia Tomczak at or 217-228-5351 for more information.

Fr. Tolton – Essay “They Call Him Fr. Gus” on the life of the First African-American Catholic priest.


Gyrfalcon QU Yearbook for 1949-2001

The Gyrfalcon yearbook was published from 1949-2001. The volumes have been digitized and are available to download in PDF, full text or to your Kindle. They are accessible also through Internet Archive here. Just search Quincy University, Quincy College or Gyrfalcon. A gyrfalcon is the name for the largest species of falcon that live on Arctic coasts and the islands of North America, Europe, and Asia. Since the hawk is the mascot of Quincy University and the falcon is used as the name for the student newspaper, it was a natural fit to use the name gyrfalcon for the yearbook.

Gyrfalcon Archives